As Cornellians, our workload seems to increase as the temperature outside decreases, and grocery shopping eventually disappears from our to-do lists. We begin the school year with frequent trips to the Ithaca Farmer’s Market that, as the semester progresses, turn into trips to campus events in hopes of finding free pizza. While Anabel’s Grocery has done wonders for food procurement on campus, even shopping there can be too time-consuming when prelim season is in full swing. However, our favorite grocery store has developed a solution to alleviate at least a small fraction of our mid-semester woes: Wegman’s now offers a grocery delivery service. For an added delivery fee ($10), you can have all the things you would normally get at the supermarket — fresh fruits and vegetables, cereal, milk and meat — without ever having to leave your apartment.
I tried out Wegman’s delivery service, and I wasn’t disappointed. Just type “Wegman’s delivery” into Google, and you’ll be led to Instacart, the site used for grocery delivery (or you can use the Instacart app). From there, you can go through each department of the store and add what you want into your cart. But beware: The site tells you that the price of bananas is $0.18 each or $0.59 per pound. However, when you click “add,” you aren’t adding one bunch or one pound of bananas, you’re adding one banana. So you have to add six or seven bananas to your cart to get what you’d just pick up at the store. But beware again: This isn’t how it works for other products, such as chicken breasts. When you add the chicken breasts to your cart, you’re adding packs of chicken breasts, not single ones. That’s how I ended up with three packs of chicken, when I just wanted three pieces. At least I’m set for a while.
When you’re done, you choose when you want your groceries delivered; you can have them within an hour or within several hours, depending on when you need them and can be home to receive them. After you submit your order, you get live text updates of the person shopping for you. If one of your items was out of stock, you’ll get a text letting you know and that it has been replaced with a different brand of the same product. Finally, you’ll receive a message telling you that the delivery is on its way and, if you’re like me, you’ll hear a knock on the door just two minutes after you’ve gotten out of the shower and have hurriedly thrown on sweats. After your order is delivered, you get an email confirming the whole transaction, and you have the option to tip the delivery person.
I didn’t want to be ridiculed by my fellow nutrition majors so I ordered yogurt, fresh fruit (including my five bananas), fresh vegetables, salmon, chicken (a lot of it) and dry pasta. This was the first time I’d had the time to get vegetables in weeks. The quality of the groceries was top-notch. The yogurt, salmon and chicken were all still cold. I’m one of those terrible consumers that put their nose up at fruit that has any type of weird marks on it, but the fresh produce was ripe and didn’t have any bruises. The great condition of the groceries could definitely be contributed to the fact that I submitted my order at 4:15 p.m. and it got to my apartment at 5:01 p.m.
Overall, Wegman’s delivery was fast and easy to use, and the quality of the products was excellent. It’s definitely convenient for those of us who don’t have a car on campus or a bus pass. However, there is a delivery fee on top of the characteristically high Wegman’s prices, making its worth questionable. I usually do my grocery shopping at Tops, Aldi’s or Anabel’s when I can’t get to the store, so I am used to the lower prices at each of them. Wegman’s has the right idea, but it may not be for college students.